Who the heck is Larry Shippers? And why is he trending on Twitter?
By LISA GUTIERREZ
The Kansas City Star
Thursday night, #RIPLarryShippers started trending worldwide on Twitter.
And anyone curious enough to take the bait, like us, were a little aghast to see what was unfolding.
After a British TV station aired a documentary about fanatical One Direction fans Thursday night, followers of the boy band started a Twitter rumor that 14 fans had killed themselves in response.
The “news” took off under the hashtag #RIPLarry Shippers.
Larry Shippers is a group of One Direction fans who fantasize about a romance between band members Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson.
(Louis has become particularly frustrated by the so-called Larry Shippers, saying the rumors are disrespectful to his girlfriend.)
The documentary, “Crazy About One Direction,” aired on UK’s Channel 4 Thursday night. It introduced the rest of us to 1D fanatics like 17-year-old Natasha who got braces because band member Niall Horan has them – and he’s not even her favorite.
And meet the fan who declared that if the boys asked her to chop off her arm, she would.
One fan somehow found out the boys’ penis sizes – what the? – and posted them on Twitter.
The documentary showed how fans use social media like Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram to communicate with the band members and keep borderline-stalker tabs on the lads – where they’re staying, where they’re eating, where they’re shopping.
“Why wont u follow me?” one tweet sent to @Harry_Styles read. “Should I kill myself ?”
Very quickly, unconfirmed Twitter rumors popped up that 14 Larry Shippers had killed themselves after seeing the documentary.
The unconfirmed death toll quickly grew to 28, then 42.
Band members saw the commotion and Liam Payne took to Twitter himself with this series of messages to calm the storm.
“Not really sure what's going on right now I just hope everyone's ok.”
“Hearing some horrible things... Really hope this isn't true.”
“Just so all of you know we love you guys and we know how dedicated you are and tbh we can't believe it that you guys spend all your time on us.”
“We couldn't give a (expletive) what any documentary says. They're dramatised for entertainment and full of (expletive) anyway. We all know how hard you work for us and see it everyday at our shows.”
“Let's all take a step back and think about what we/you have all achieved. You should be proud.”